Posts Filed Under Tips and Works For Me Wednesday

How to die while shaving – an almost-complete tutorial

by bosssanders on June 19, 2014 with no comments

Except not.

Because I would never advise such an unfortunate ending.

At least die while saving babies from crocodiles on skis made of piranhas.  I mean, really.

Seriously, though.   A while back, I saw this fabulous pin for shaving with baby oil gel.  It’ll make your skin so soft, they said.  You won’t have to shave again for days, they said.  It’ll keep your razor sharp, they said.
Not having to shave for days?  Soft skin?  Less money spent on my man-razors made necessary by the jungle undergrowth that are my legs?  Why, of course!  Sign me up!
Idiot.
Do you know what happens when baby oil meets shower?  Slicker than snot death trap, that’s what.  But, because I belong in a circus for my weird and random feats, I was able to shave while standing on one leg in my self-made ice rink of baby oil without dying.

Death does not like to be defied, people.

A couple of swipes with the razor and it was filled with oil-gel…and hair.  Like, a permanent fixture, refusing to move, a gunky testament to my stupidity.  Clearly, this razor wasn’t lasting longer due to the oil UNLESS what they meant to say was that it keeps your razor sharp by gunking it up so you only get 2 swipes into your shave.

Thank you so very much.
And because that’s not bad enough, then your husband gets in the shower and is all, “why am I sliding in the shower?”  And, you just shrug and are all like, “No idea. And I know nothing about your razor in there either. “

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bosssanders

DIY Laundry Detergent

by bosssanders on May 22, 2013 with no comments

Why is it that soap for your body can be bought for around a buck and yet laundry detergent… which is really just soap for your clothing… is $15 bucks for about a month’s worth?

Most likely, the answer is: Because they can.

I’ve been making our own laundry detergent for a while now.  I began by making the liquid form but switched to powder for only 2 reasons… 1) The powder takes up less space (the liquid uses BIG buckets) and 2) The powder is faster to make.  With that said, the liquid worked well, too.  But, this recipe is for the powder…

You will need:

A Cheese grater
1 Bar of your favorite soap
2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda
Blender

First… Grate your soap.  The entire bar.

Second, alternate pouring the washing soda and grated soap into the blender.  (Make sure you alternate… this is important for the blender part.  TRUST ME.)  Now, blend!  You may have to shake your blender a little to keep it from sticking… depending on how “sticky” your soap is.  The “stickier” the soap is, the more you may have to work with it.  A bar like dove or the Melaleuca bars are pretty easy.  But, when I tried the laundry bar, it wanted to be slightly more difficult.  Either way, this is pretty easy and quick.

Third, pour blender contents into a bowl and mix in your borax.

Fourth, pour it all into the container you want to use!

Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load!

Easy Peasy!!

bosssanders

Eye Makeup Tutorials

by bosssanders on March 12, 2011 with no comments

Last night over dinner with friends, the subject of eye makeup came up.  I’m 25 and I guess I kind of thought maybe I was the rare one that actually had to FIGURE out (and still am) the different ways to apply makeup (it’s like an art, seriously!)  I mean, I knew basics…but, as a teenager I mostly stuck with neutrals – whereas I’ve experimented with some bolder colors and outfits now that I’m…older (*cough*).

Anyhow, I thought I’d share a couple of helpful how-to videos from YouTube by Makeup Geek.  They’re easy and don’t come across like a MAC commercial like so many do.

I know many of you, like me, probably don’t have the cash or local stores to buy MAC and Urban Decay products (although they are online) – so, I found a couple of my favorite drugstore (or Walmart) products to share with you.

My favorite eyeliner:  L’Oreal Infallible (in the dark brown…black is too harsh for me).  It usually runs between about $6-8.  Then, after I apply it, I use a little bit of powder to brush lightly over it to set it.

My favorite “out on the town” eyeshadow:  Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio.  As a kid, Wet N’ Wild had a reputation for being the trashiest and crappiest of makeup brands, but I have to say… I REALLY like these trio sets.  They’re bold and fun and pretty.  Also, if you’re not familiar with eye makeup, each color is labeled as to where you put it (with a diagram on the back of the packaging) AND your colors are already put together for you!

I have the one above, but this one is my FAVORITE set of colors:

Now, for the videos…

bosssanders

Week One Challenge

by bosssanders on March 7, 2011 with 2 comments

Your mission this week, if you choose to accept it is to:  Organize YOUR wardrobe.

This week, I’m playing along with Simple Mom and her Organizational Challenge – actually, we’ll be doing this for 5 weeks, but hey.  Details shmetails, right?

You can click the link above, but the basic bit is to organize your own wardrobe – you know, with hangers and stuff.  Organized into piles on the floor totally doesn’t count.  (Drats, guess that means I have to fold laundry!  But, does that mean I only have to fold mine this week?)

Anyhow, we have until Friday to go through our own clothing and get rid of what we don’t want.  If we choose to throw away or give away any clothing, it needs to be out by Friday, too.

Personally, I think I’m going to make this a slightly bigger challenge for myself.  I invite you to join me in any capacity you want…

MY PLAN (This Week):

-Break out my improvised FlyLady Zone List for the Master Bedroom – I’ll be dusting and vacuuming and all of that jazz in the bedroom.  (I’m not sure if this is me being proactive or procrastinating…)

-Designing something for my small jewelry collection – a pile on the dresser just isn’t doing it.

-Re-organize my large bookshelf (well, the stuff on it).

-Organize and clean out under the bed (GASP!)

bosssanders

Blogging 101 – Part 1: Where Do I Begin?

by bosssanders on August 19, 2010 with 2 comments

I’ve had a lot of questions over the last couple of years regarding blogging, so I thought I’d put it all down into words here – complete with some really helpful links!  As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments and leave your own helpful tips as appropriate to the topic.  I plan for this to be a series, so if there’s a question you want answered, be sure to email it to me at bosssanders (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Why blog?

I get this question more than one would think.  I can’t tell YOU why YOU should blog, but I can tell you why some others (me, included) do:

It’s like therapy.  Only cheaper.
It’s great for business if you’re a website because it keeps your content fresh…which google likes.
It’s a great record-keeper – Whether you want to remember the funny things your kids did (and turn it into a book later) or you just want to chronicle your life.  Whatever.
It can make you money (which I’ll explain later).

Who would even read my blog?

That my friend, you have to answer.  It’s up to you.  You can make your blog private (which I have several of those, too), you can make it semi-private (where you invite certain people) OR you can make it completely public.  It’s up to you.

As far as who would want to read your blog…well, a lot of people.  Let me tell ya.  I never really thought anyone would want to read the random ramblings of a SAHM but they do!  I have over 6500 unique visitors per month.  And, it’s growing.  It never stays the same.  The number is ALWAYS going up.  I don’t even KNOW 6500 people!!

So, just write.  No matter what you write about, there’s gonna be SOMEONE that’s interested.  (Unless you’re writing about killing kittens or something weird like that.  No, actually, I take that back.  You’ll still probably have readers…just not me.)

I don’t know much about websites and I’m not that great of a writer, how do I do this?

I slaughter grammar and I put commas and periods wherever I want to because in high-school, my AP English teacher told me that once I was a published writer, I could make up my own rules.  So I do.  And, am.  As long as you know how to use spell-check, you’re good.

And, you don’t have to know a lot about websites.  You can do a simple blog and do great OR you can do something huge and complex and hire people to do what you can’t.  It’s pretty easy like that.

What should I write about?

Your life.  Products.  Saving money.  Raising kids.  Homeschooling.  Crafts.  Techie stuff.  Making money.  Re-purposing things.  Funny things people say.  Music.  Celebrities.  People that inspire you.  Art.  Cars.  Weird fashions.  Whatever. You. Want.

Where do I start?

First, you start by signing up for your own blog.  I recommend using a WordPress or Blogger platform.

IF you are wanting to advertise on your blog, I recommend you use WordPress.com or use the wordpress platform and buy your own domain name and hosting (which is what I do).

IF you want something that’s really point and click and very few brain cells involved (and less freedom), go for Blogger.com.

Keep in mind that Google owns Blogger, so you may show up EASIER in search engines, but they have rules that won’t allow you to advertise much at all.  And if they catch you, they can ban you and all sorts of stuff.

**Before you actually sign up for a blog, I suggest you decide what you will be writing and then come up with a name.  Come up with something fun, catchy, and easy to remember…unless of course, you aren’t wanting to be found or just like to be difficult.  Then, do whatever you want.

How do I make my blog pretty?

Both of the websites I linked to give you the option of a variety of themes/layouts.  Of course, you can find even more by googling them or finding someone who will design you something nicer (which comes with a fee).

My advice is to check out your favorite blog designs and look at the bottom of those blogs to see who designed it.

Questions?

Favorite blog designers?

Favorite place to blog?

Do you have a blog?


Part 2 – Getting Your Blog “Out There”

bosssanders

How To: Plan A Frugal Vacation To Walt Disney World (Or, how we did it)

by bosssanders on June 1, 2010 with 5 comments

Recently, we were extended a wonderful chance to travel to Walt Disney World – and, when it fell in line with our budget, we jumped at the chance.  Below are some tips for the frugally-minded:

1.  Until July this year, WDW is offering military personnel and their families a GREAT DEAL on tickets.  It’s about $99 for a 4 Day base ticket, which you can upgrade for approximately $25-30.  To save even more money on taxes, you can buy said tickets at Shades of Green in Orlando, or possibly at your nearest base.  (Call to figure out which option is cheaper.)

2.  Disney now allows soft coolers into the park with foods that don’t need to be reheated.  Take advantage of this!  We brought small rolls of bologna, crackers, chicken salad, cheese, sun chips, dried fruits, Kashi cheese crackers, etc to avoid some of the high prices of the park snacks.  Also, instead of the blue freezer packs, we filled a few ziploc bags with ice each morning, which we’d pour into our drinks as it melted.

3.  BYOB.  Bring your own bottle.  Water bottle, that is.  You will have the opportunity to fill up your water all over the park from the water fountains.  I will warn you, though, Orlando’s water is GROSS.  So, if you aren’t used to it, you may want to bring some lemon juice, fruit juice, or Crystal Light to help camoflauge the taste.  And…the water that comes from the fountains are room temperature, so if that’s an aversion you have, prepare yourself by bringing some ice.

4.  Bring your own stroller if you have little ones.  If we would have rented a double stroller for our girls, it would have cost us an extra $31/day.  Instead, we brought our own into the park (which wasn’t really any more trouble since we had to tote the kids in anyhow) AND we had ample space to store our cooler/bags so nobody had to pack anything.

5.  Walt Disney World offers some great hotels at “budget” prices – unfortunately, they didn’t fit into OUR budget (approx $80-$100/night).  Instead, we traveled with my husband’s parents and stayed at Ft. Wilderness.  They allowed us to fit an RV and 2 large tents onto one lot.  The price per night for these sites are between $59-$74 and could potentially be split up between several families.  It’s an extra $2/person once you start adding people, but that’s a pretty small price to pay.  Ft. Wilderness has great air-conditioned “comfort stations” (shower/bathrooms) where the water never got cold in the shower (unless you wanted it to).  If you take this route, I recommend that you bring some good bug spray and possibly bug zappers for the mosquitoes and yellow flies.  And, if you stay in a tent…a fan is nice (although we managed without one and had a baby and toddler and two adults that seemed to manage just fine).

6.  Save your gas, use Disney’s transportation.  Sure, it’s a little slower, but RELAX – you’re going to be moving like a mad person as soon as you get into the parks.

7.  If you have a little princess of your own, scout out yardsales for princess dresses.  Or, run to the dollar store or Michael’s and buy some tulle and make her a tutu.  The staff at Disney pull out all the stops, especially when you come all dressed up.  And, hey!  It’s Disney, why not dress up like a princess?  Anyways, a dress in one of their stores is $60.  Take your own nail polish, some face glitter, glitter hair spray, and a little tiara and you can surprise your little one with a little makeover before you even get there.  –All for under $20.  The same treatment INSIDE the parks would set you back $200.

8.  Check out the Walmart down the road from the park for some good Disney deals.  They sell a few similar/same things for a fraction of the price (think $2 vs. $15).

9.  If your kiddos are old enough, they may beg for toys.  Luckily, mine were asleep it seemed by the time we got to the stores, but if you don’t think you’ll be so lucky you can purchase toys before you go.  Try ebay, Walmart, yardsales, or make stuff.  Heck, I found some ADORABLE mickey mouse themed dresses on ETSY.com for only $20, they were cuter than anything WDW offered and at a fraction of the price.

10. Lastly, I suggest bringing some meals to help cut costs.  We brought easy to prepare foods – from wraps and sandwiches to flatbread with pizza fixings.  Hotdogs and hamburgers to simple pastas.  At WDW, it’s EASY to lay down $30 for ONE adult buffet (OUCH!)

Check out allears.com before you go for some great tips.  Or, peruse your local bookstore and read some other great tips.  There are so many cool things you can do if you just ASK – from free pins at the front gate to pin trading with staff.

Have any great Disney tips?  Share them in the comments!

bosssanders

Clearing the clutter

by bosssanders on December 29, 2009 with no comments

I need to clear the clutter – in my home, my brain, and my schedule.

My personality is one that likes to do many things and likes to be helpful – but the downside is that sometimes I fill my schedule with meaningless but busy things and sometimes I just clutter my life without really doing the things that mean the most to me.

About a month ago, I reached out to a friend of mine – I look up to her in many ways, one of them being her search for SIMPLICITY.  She’s promised to let me “shadow” her when she gets back from a trip to see how she manages a few things in her home.  In the meanwhile, though, she sent me this great recording from Preschoolers and Peace (thank you, Sara!).  Basically, Kendra Fletcher goes through her biggest organizational tips and what works for her (she’s a mom to 7, including a baby and a 3 year old!).

Then, I had my DUH moment.

I’ve been feeling SO busy, but if I look at my planner, it’s not too full.  I mean, 2 days a week I have physical therapy which lasts about a couple of hours (including waiting) and then, I clean one day a week and that’s pretty much it.  So, why does it FEEL like I have no time and why do I feel so STRESSED?

It’s because I have no schedule since we’ve moved.

It’s because our house is a disaster area…since the move.

It’s because I have no clue where most of our belongings are since they’re in one big pile (or so it feels) in the storage building…

It’s because homeschooling hit the backburner, and I feel like I’m wasting my daughter’s time…

It’s because our kitchen/dining room just shrunk and cooking is really intimidating me in this new kitchen since most things are stored out of my reach due to storage limitations and then add in a lack of counter space….

I’m feeling claustrophobic, and no wonder why!  It’s not that I’m too BUSY…it’s that I’m not organized.  –All I want to do is read or paint, but not do the things I NEED to do.

So, this morning, I dug out my Homeschool planner and made a plan for this week (I only do a week at a time so I can move forward or focus more on a certain area as we need).  We took a 2 month break with the bankruptcy and the move and such and I feel like such a bad mommy for not having structured learning time.  It’s not that she hasn’t learned anything, it just FEELS like I haven’t taught her on purpose.  Ah, guilt.  Isn’t it lovely?

Next, I’m going to spend today making up Cleaning Zones.  We adapted these from FLY LADY but toned them down a bit because I really don’t care if you can eat off my floors or not, as long as they are clean (for being floors).  Actually, I might think you a bit odd if you licked my floors anyhow.

Then, I plan to make a very lenient daily schedule for me.

And then… a meal plan.

bosssanders

WFMW – Backwards Edition

by bosssanders on April 1, 2009 with 10 comments

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This week, I’m supposed to switch it up a bit and ASK for a tip (or tips).  Easy enough!

So, here we go:

Can you name some things that you do (or thought about doing!) to make your dollar stretch a little further – maybe you do them to be more eco-friendly, maybe you do them for the health of your family, or maybe you do them because having more money at the end of the day rather than just giving it away to someone else pleases you.  Whatever your reason…

Anything goes – from meals to cleaning to entertainment to clothing and whatever else you can think of!

What works for you (but could maybe work for me!)?

bosssanders

Works For Me Wednesday – Getting Water Out Of Bath Toys (rubber ducks)

by bosssanders on March 25, 2009 with 13 comments

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We love rubber ducks. But, what do you do when you just can’t get that extra water out? If you let it sit, it will mold, creating a nasty little problem.

I looked it up and all I could find for suggestions was bleach. Lots of bleach. That – and boiling or using the dishwasher.

Right. But really, how does adding MORE water (hot water) get rid of the water that is already a problem? It doesn’t. So, I made it my task to figure out a way to get the water out so L can continue playing with her beloved duckies.

Option 1: Poke an extra hole in it. I recommend using an ice pick or nail (or the corn cob holders) to poke a hole in its beak. It’ll give an extra hole to squeeze water out AND provide a squirter!

Option 2: Squeeze it out. If the hole is in the middle on the bottom, as it is with ours, fold up the body so the hole is the lowest point. Now press the little bugger down until it can’t be pressed anymore. Don’t worry, ducky will get over it and will puff back out after a while.

Option 3: Try getting out most of the water and then either set it into a little puddle of rubbing alcohol OR use something to squeeze it into the ducky (like the medicine syringe for animals OR something similar).

Option 4: Try all of the above…together!

But, whatever you do…don’t use bleach. Soapy warm water is plenty to get all the nasties off of the inside. They rubbing alcohol will take care of the germs on the inside and help dry it out (you can also use tea tree oil if it starts getting moldy). But bleach and other cleaners are a BAD idea. Because it will come out in your child’s bathtime water and they will be taking a bath in tilex, bleach, or oxy water. Yuck. And, they may even try drinking that water (from the duck)…or get the water in their eyes.

bosssanders

Spies and Updates

by bosssanders on March 24, 2009 with 7 comments

I’m 34 weeks pregnant as of today and besides a bit of heartburn nudging around, nothing much has changed with this pregnancy. Except, maybe that Aurora has found a love for acrobats and making my digestive system miserable. Dear child, there is NOT enough room for you to be doing that. Please settle down.

In other news, there is no real other news. It’s been a week since my husband lost his job and….nothing. Lots of leads going nowhere, lots of nothing – except stress. I have plenty of that. I’ve been praying and thinking hopeful, good thoughts but then the other scenarios come rushing in – scenarios that include me giving birth without my husband – or without my doula in a place I don’t know – or, even all alone. And then other thoughts come rushing in, and I’m done.

So, for now I’m trying to purposely obsess over small and happy things that make me freak out less, if only just for a while.

It’s not really working, but anyways.

I was looking at my analytics page and found some mildly interesting searches (by which random folks have seemed to find me – HI! By the way). For your entertainment, here they are:

I drank at 31 weeks pregnant
I’ll save the finger wagging and just cut right to the chase – what do you want, a cookie?

what to do with strawberry cupcakes using cake mix
Ummm…eat them? DUH. Better yet, just mail them to me. I’ll sacrifice myself for you and show you with pictures what should be done with perfectly good cupcakes.

you can know me by the way I roll
Isn’t that a song? And, I’ll keep that in mind if I ever need to figure out how to move your body.

how to get rid of boss
Um, hopefully you aren’t meaning me – and, really…I have no experience in offing folks. Ahem.  Nor would I ever admit to it if I did.

questions not to ask the boss
I’m not an expert at this or anything, but I’m pretty sure some good starters would be –

Did your daughter ever find her underwear?
Did you by any chance find a tampon in the freezer?
Is your wife/husband busy tonight?
Do you plan on actually showing up tomorrow?

And then I’ve gotten quite a lot of searches coming here for pregnancy stuff.  I figured I’d write what I know all in one place so you could just find it here…

itchiness and rashes during pregnancy and what to do
First, go see your doctor.  Some rashes can be serious and you may need to be referred to a dermatologist.  If, however, they don’t know what it is or just tell you it’s a part of pregnancy and you get to deal with it, you may want to try the following:
-ask for a steroid cream.  This helped take my rash and took the itch down from CRAZY to manageable
-wear loose cotton shirts – or eh, nothing over the problem areas if you can get away with it.  Lots of air and things not rubbing against your skin makes a ton of difference.
-stay away from scented lotions!  Eucerin calming creme helped mine once I had the CRAZY part of the itch taken care of.
-Drink LOADS of water and eat good and healthy stuff.  It helps more than you know
-Scalpicin for your itchy scalp works too.  So does tea tree oil if you don’t mind being smelly.
-Keep your rash/itchy skin COOL.  Use cold dry rags from the freezer if you must, just keep the area really cool.
-No more hot showers.  Stick to warm showers and make ‘em short with no scrubbing which will just piss your skin off even more.  Trust me, it took me 2 pregnancies to figure all of this out.
-Scratching it will make it worse.  I promise you.  Tie your hands to bed at night to sleep if you must.
-Peppermint oil and lavender oil (therapeutic grade) mixed with a carrier oil may help some as well.  I didn’t experiment much with my oils at first b/c I was kind of scared to, but those would be the first I’d try being pregnant and all…

overly sick during pregnancy and what to do and what it is
By overly sick, do you mean like morning sickness only EXTREME?  If so, I can probably help.  Of course, check with your doctor but if most of the labs come back okay and you still feel like dog doo, you may have Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  It’s basically just a really BAD case of morning sickness that could end up being serious if you let it go.  Google it, you’ll find all kinds of stuff about it.  At first, I thought my issues were hypoglycemic related but soon found that even though I ate methodically and stuck my poor finger, nothing was adding up.  If you have hyperemesis gravidarum, I’m going to recommend you checking out extra B vitamins, Unisom sleeping pills, and Zofran.  Seriously, these are the ONLY things I found to work.  I tried the ginger, the lollipops, the supplements, and EVERYTHING.  My situation was bad enough that I couldn’t eat ANYTHING at one (or many) point(s) and had to move into my parent’s house for month just so I’d be close to help and the hospital so I could go in and get an IV on a weekly basis.  The unisom pills pretty much help keep you from vomiting all day long (but you sleep instead) and the Zofran is generally given to chemo patients…so it helps with nausea.  None of these things completely cured it, but they helped.  I can honestly say that NOTHING I know of would have prevented this (although if you know the secret, be sure to email me) – not exercise or nutrition or anything else.  I was SO careful.  I had the exact same issues in my first pregnancy, only with this one I was trying to juggle a toddler as well.  And, if you just figured out you probably don’t have this and it’s just regular morning sickness…lucky you.

baby movement
If I remember correctly, I felt some of the first flutters at 18 or 19 weeks during my pregnancy.  For some, it’ll be a little later (or earlier).  Try not to freak out, but if you get a little antsy, head to your OB and have them use the doppler.  You can buy or rent one of those, btw if you’re the wringing-of-hands type.

when is baby viable
I’ve heard that at 25 weeks, with special medical care, if your child is born then it could be considered “viable” outside the womb. This isn’t the same as asking about “full term,” however, which is around 37 weeks.

nesting already
All I can tell you is that I’ve been nesting on and off since my 2nd trimester.  And, with baby L, it was probably as soon as I found out (til I got sick) as she was our first!  I’m sure if our budget would’ve allowed, I’d be nesting even more but somehow painting kitchen cabinets seems much less fun once you realize you’ll be doing it and not hiring help.  I’m 34 weeks and still nesting and don’t feel like I’ll be having this baby any time soon, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into nesting…unless you’re having contractions too.

body hurting, being tired, stomach pains, funny smells, vaginal secretions
Congratulations, you’re pregnant!  During my first pregnancy, I kept a journal full of diagrams of everything that hurt and pretty much everything that happened.  Almost ever cramp (that lasted for more than 30 seconds) and EVERYTHING.  I called our Labor and Delivery center at the hospital a LOT during that time.  This time, I’m way more laid back about the weird body going ons.  Your body will hurt and you will have funky cramps most likely and you will have weird discharges.  If you think you have an infection or something is wrong, by all means…go to the doctor.  And, as for being tired?  All I can say is get used to it.  Add some supplements and if you can fit in exercise, then good for you.  Personally, exercising much makes me feel WORSE during pregnancy, but some folks swear by it.  (It makes me dizzy and sick if I do too much)  But, seriously.  You have a little human growing inside of you, your body IS going to do some really funky and not so pleasant things – just blame the baby.  Or your husband.  :)   I kid.  Sort of.

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